JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS: January 31st – February 6th, 2015

REGGAE ARTISTE SAYS FARMING IS THE KEY TO SURVIVAL—01/31/15
Kabalist, a reggae artiste who was born in Jamaica but who now lives in the United States, believes that music and farming are compatible and calls farming the “key to survival.” He noted that his grandfathers were farmers and that farming is his passion. While he is focused on his music career, he also runs a farm in Wigton, Manchester, a business he began in 1992. He began with coffee, but after his entire crop was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan, he lost interest in the farm. Now he is back to farming, cultivating Irish and sweet potatoes. He is also interested in growing ginger.

JAMAICAN ON SUPER BOWL WINNING TEAM—02/01/15
Patrick Chung, native of Kingston, has joined the growing list of Jamaicans who have won Super Bowl championships in the National Football League in the United States. Chung’s mother is Sophia George-Chung, noted reggae artist. Chung had two tackles in the big game, contributing to the New England Patriots’ win. Before Chung, Jamaican Ryan McBean won a Super Bowl ring playing with the Baltimore Ravens in 2012.

CANADIAN BORDER AGENCY LATE IN LEARNING OF DETAINEE DEATH—02/02/15
Canada’s Border Service Agency did not know that one of its own detainees had died until representatives appeared at a detention hearing for the deceased man. Jamaican national Shawn Dwight Cole had a long criminal record and had been held for 106 days in a Toronto detention center before dying on Boxing Day 2014. His death was attributed to natural causes, since he had a history of seizures. However, no one notified the Border Agency, on whose behalf the jail had been holding him, nor had anyone told the Jamaican government until 87 days after he died.

CLARKE WELCOMES SIMPSON MILLER ON VISIT TO U.S. CONGRESS—02/03/15
Yvette D. Clarke, the Congresswoman from Brooklyn, New York, welcomed Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller when she visited the United States Congress. Clarke said that Simpson Miller praised the Congressional Black Caucus during her visit for supporting Jamaica during negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. Clarke is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants who represents the 9th Congressional District.

CROWD FUNDING USED TO REACH JAMAICAN DIASPORA FOR CHARITY—02/04/15
Sagicor Jamaica is using the crowd funding method to raise money for its 2015 charities, including the Jamaica Kidney Kids Foundation and Cornwall Regional Hospital’s Neonatal Unit. The firm believes that crowd funding expands opportunities for the firm to attract funding from Jamaicans in the Diaspora throughout the world.

JAMAICANS IN UK URGED TO REGULARIZE THEIR STATUS—02/05/15
Jamaica’s High Commission in London, Her Excellency Aloun Ndombet Assamba, is calling for Jamaicans in the Diaspora to regularize their status in the United Kingdom. She has launched a public education campaign that includes seminars on immigration, to disseminate information needed by Jamaicans in the UK. She said that the program, which is offering the seminars in cooperation with members of the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board, also includes the participation of immigration lawyers who will speak to the community.

BOLT GETS RUN-AROUND IN NEW VIRGIN MEDIA ADVERTIZEMENT—02/06/15
Jamaica’s champion sprinter Usain Bolt can again be viewed on television screens in the United Kingdom, appearing in a new Virgin Media ad. The campaign shows Bolt sharing a broadband connections with three “gadget rascals,” who are raccoons knows as “Broadbandits.” The ad showcases Virgin Media’s high speed connections.

CELEBRATION OF BOB MARLEY’S BIRTHDAY IN FORT LAUDERDALE—02/06/15
The Broward County Library in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will hold a celebration of the 70th birthday of reggae legend Bob Marley on February 6, 2015, at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center. The celebration is part of its cultural event series, which is called “Destination Fridays.” The series, which continues throughout the year, will showcase various cultures by focusing on their art, music, and cuisine. The February 6 celebration will feature a Bob Marley lip-synching contest as well as live musical performances.